“That’s a Lie, Mother,”
Fire Marshal Lewis on Monday sent this letter to Commissioner Ennis. It is self-explanatory:
FIRE MARSHAL’S OFFICE,
BROOKLYN, November 29, 1892.
The Hon. John Ennis, Fire Commissioner:
DEAR Sir—Pursuant to my official duties I have made an examination as to the origin and circumstances attending fire in frame stable situate in rear of 35 Skillman avenue on the morning of October 28. From the evidence taken and the confession made by Frederick Boden, aged ten years, who admitted to me that he set fire to said stable by placing a lot of paper against it and firing the same. This confession is fully corroborated by Margaret Stiles, 36 Jackson street, and Mrs. Dale, 39 Skillman avenue, who saw him in the act of setting fire to the aforesaid premises. I have conferred with the district attorney on the subject matter and he suggests that a warrant be issued for the boy’s arrest and brought before the court that a proper inquiry may be made regarding his conduct and responsibility. Respectfully submitted,
BENJAMIN LEWIS, Fire Marshal.
Mr. Lewis had some trouble fixing the responsibility in this case. He questioned Boden’s mother after some other investigation and she indignantly asserted that her boy had no hand in the matter.
“ That’s a lie. mother,” said Frederick cheerily, “ I did set fire to it. You see we had a lot of paper in the yard and we piled it up and set fire to it. While the paper was blazing I carried it and laid it against the stable. Hully gee ! There was a bully fire in a minute or two. Then we couldn’t put it out.”
The boy explained that his smaller brothers and younger sister helped him pile up the waste papers. He did not appear to appreciate the extent of his wickedness. It is probable that he will be sent to some home for juvenile delinquents.